A historic high street on a wet day. In the foreground is a block of possibly sandstone and two large artworks of rusted metal.
Chard's Fore Street, looking east towards the Guildhall and Manor Court House. © Historic England
Chard's Fore Street, looking east towards the Guildhall and Manor Court House. © Historic England

Missing Pieces Project: Telling Chard's Story

Chard is a historic market town in rural South Somerset and was an important wool, weaving and lace-making centre

The town has several additional claims to fame, including where James Gillingham started making the first leather prosthetic limbs and as the headquarters of Numatic, the home of the Henry vacuum cleaner.

High Street, Holyrood Street and Fore Street are rich in historic character, with the latter the focus of Chard's High Street Heritage Action Zone. The town centre boasts 50 listed buildings, including the Grade I listed Waterloo House and the Grade II* listed Chard School, both of which are on the Heritage at Risk Register.

What is a High Street Heritage Action Zone?

The £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, which is being delivered by Historic England, unlocks the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery, encouraging people to engage with the high street and breathe new life into it for future generations.

More than 60 high streets (including Fore Street in Chard) have been offered funding to give them a new lease of life. The lead partners in each place (mostly local authorities) are working with Historic England to develop and deliver schemes that will transform and restore disused and dilapidated buildings into new homes, shops, workplaces and community spaces, restoring local historic character and improving public realm.

Help tell Chard's story

The National Heritage List for England has over 400,000 entries. Many places are well-known and even world-famous, but for others, there is much that remains unknown.

We want to tell the best stories we can about the listed places in which we live, work, visit, or own. Every snapshot and voice will be an important part of building that narrative.

The more pieces of the picture we have, the better we can work together to protect what makes these places special, record important facts, and even unlock their secrets.

Their stories are being written, and they won’t be complete until people share their side...